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Skydog - The Duane Allman Story

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  32 reviews
(Book). The definitive biography of one of the most revered guitarists of his generation. Duane Allman brought white-hot intensity to his life, onstage, in the studio, and beyond. Skydog reveals the complete story of Duane Allman, from his early struggles and his session days, to the formation of the Allman Brothers Band and his tragic early death at age 24. Skydog also in ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Backbeat Books (first published October 1st 2006)
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M. Sarki
Let it be said that I learned very much from reading this book. I will not be judging the quality of the writing at all but mostly commenting on how great a guitarist Duane Allman was and how skilled he was at noticing other great talents. The fact he only made to twenty-four is a sad statement of the times as he certainly wasn't alone in his self-destructive activities. There was much to be learned from reading this book.
Lawrence A
Very well-written biography of guitarist Duane Allman, and a good chronology of the Allman Brothers Band. I remember what an upset 13-year-old music fan I was when Duane was killed at age 24 in a motorcycle accident in 1971. The Allmans had closed the Fillmore East in June 1971 with an amazing set that was broadcast live on WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM in NYC, and had played a live set at the WPLJ studio in August 1971. Duane's incredible virtuosity and passion, along with his transcendental and irridesc ...more
Two and a half stars. In my opinion it was slightly better than this. Way to many tangents that attempted to describe the way the guitar playing sounded on a particular record instead of focusing on the (way to short) life of the man. Taken from interviews the author conducted over the course of 30 years, as well as source material from other magazines and books, it feels as hollow as it sounds. The only bonus was I found a few new albums titles to check out. Boz Scaggs here I come!

Since there aren't any books on the late great Duane Allman other than this one I am aware of, this one as such should be considered definitive. The book explains his life well, from the early death of his father, a decorated war veteran, in a bar fight, to his evolution as a player in bands and a studio musician in Muscle Shoals Alabama, through the formation (and breakup) of his original band wit his brother Gregg, and their reconstitution as the Allman Brothers Band. I feel for myself it was ...more
This is a workmanlike treatment of a man Rolling Stone recently ranked as the second best guitar player in the world (after Jimi Hendrix). Duane Allman was a musical genius, a player whose chops were unsurpassed. He was devoted to growing and learning as a player and, like Jimi, pushing the boundaries of rock music to places that were altogether new.

The book is a fair and accurate evaluation of his musical life. It is common knowledge that Duane was a passionate individual, a brilliantly talente
Jeff Crompton
Probably unlike most folks who read this book, I don't listen to much rock music. But at some level I've been an Allman Brothers Band fan since I was about 13 - about the time At Fillmore East came out - and in recent years years the ABB in all its incarnations have gained more and more playing time among the jazz, blues, classical, and world music I usually listen to. I picked Randy Poe's book up a couple of years ago, enjoyed reading it, and learned a lot about Duane and the ABB. The later cha ...more
A perfectly pathetic attempt at capturing the short life of a man with an energy unparalleled.

Although Duane graced us with a short explosion of existence, it is a pity that this is the defining "story" of a man that had a much more complex life than what is promoted here, a book written with all the eloquence of a middle schooler. It is difficult for ANY writer to capture the intricacies of the short time Duane walked the earth, but is nearly impossible for someone who never had first person
David Ward
Skydog: the Duane Allman Story by Randy Poe (Backbeat Books 2006)(780.92) is a fine book about one of the icons of Southern rock n' roll. Duane Allman, one of the founding members of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, died in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia on October 29, 1971 at the age of twenty-five. He left quite a mark for one so young; Rolling Stone magazine has anointed him as the second-best guitar player of all time behind only Jimi Hendrix. This is also a great book about the ...more
I just read Gregg Allman's biography, MY CROSS TO BEAR, and Randy Poe's book lacks the personal insights of a founding member, but is much more 'fact based'. Randy Poe provides a wealth of information about the early bands and musicians that later became The Allman Brothers Band. The author is a music industry insider who has tracked down the important people who knew and influenced Duane Allman, and helped to create and develop this most important American band. And, the book contains a compreh ...more
If you are a fan of the Allman Brothers Band or of blues guitar, this is a great read. While it covers the life of Duane Allman, it focuses primarily on his musical career, including early groups and session work. It covers his personal life somewhat superficially, so it is hard to get a really good understanding of what motivated him and made him the natural band leader that he was. It also touches on his musical influences, but not as much as I would have liked. The book is well written and an ...more
This is an amazing book about a flawed, but oh so highly talented and driven, rock guitarist and leader of the Allman Brothers Band, the band that is one of the best (if not THE best) Southern rock band.
Duane was only 24 when he died on 29 Oct 1971, but Poe doesn't dwell overly much on Duane's youth, only his amazing talent as one of the best rock guitarists in rock history (second only after Jimi Hendrix) by Roling Stone magazine. Duane brought the Allman Brothers Band to existence after years
I've been wanting to read this book since I found out about it. I discovered the FSU music library had a copy and went there immediately to pick it up. The research and effort that went into writing Skydog is immense. Every sentence--every word--is pulled from an interview or pulled from an album liner note or a studio log or a newspaper article--how Poe managed to collect this scattered, forgotten information is mind-boggling. For any person with an interest in Southern blues or the evolution o ...more
Mike Mitchell
One of the better rock bios I've read. Of course, if the Allman's aren't your cup of tea this would likely hold little interest. It runs out of steam after Duane and Barry die but that's not hard to fathom. Slap on Fillmore East and dig in.
Excellent! Duane Allman was a genius and a brilliant hardworking guitarist. Since he was already dead by the time I became a fan in 1972 I always felt I "missed out". Now I feel like I have caught up! Duane played with so many musicians and bands it boggles the mind. The book is well researched and written and there is a comprehensive discography for further listening!
Drew Athans
My full and detailed review of the books can be found on my site:

This was a very good biography on a legendary guitarist who was an interesting character...someone who is sorely missed by all who knew him.
Ben Eldridge
Duane Allman is a fantastic guitar player and I've since discovered 'The Fillmore Concerts' live album and have been enjoying it very much.
His complete disregard for his own personal safety when riding his motorbike, of course, results in his premature death.
When someone cuts the chin strap on their helmet before they go riding , then their (tragic) story tends to illicit litte sympathy from readers and fans.
Still, a great player.
For the serious Duane Allman fan, Poe's book is the definitive biography, pulling no punches. Paints an accurate portrait of Allman with all his human flaws and his genius too. The pictures in this book are amazing. Contributors were everyone who really knew Duane, including childhood friends and most of the musicians who worked with him both in studio and live. A must read for all Southern blues/rock fans.
Elizabeth Vance
This was really an excellent book! I was only 4 yrs old when Duane Allman died, so he was just a bit "before my time"! This book really made me appreciate and understand his contribution to the music world and it really makes you wonder just how much more could have been accomplished if he had only lived longer.
Geoffrey Fisher
Sep 07, 2008 Geoffrey Fisher added it
Recommends it for: fans of Duane Allman
Fans of DA will find the book worth reading. It's not a great biography, but it has some decent stuff in it. I knew DA was a one-of-a-kind player, but I learned he was also a hoss - one hard working dude. Too bad his life was cut short. The man could play like nobody's business.
Rachel Merritt
I was surprised at how interested I was in this! Everytime I picked it up, I had a hard time putting it down. I love memoirs, and this one is right at the top of my list. I think I will read Midnight Riders next to learn a little about the rest of the Allman Brothers.
I didn't really learn anything new, but I can never read enough about Duane. The guy did more living in 24 years, than more than most could do in ten lifetimes. I do like how the book concentrated heavily on Duane's Muscle Shoals period, he is my guitar hero for real.
Phil Wright
Loved this book. Really went into the foundations of the sound. Also touched on Duane's prowess as a player and his influence on and by the Muscle Schoals sound. Found the parts about Clapton and co to be very revealing and interesting. The loss of DA is still tragic.
After reading Gregg's book, I needed to read Duane's. It's very technical as that applies to music. He left his musical signature on many recordings prior to becoming "The Allman Brothers Band".
Joan-josep Vallbe
This is a fine work of musical journalism. I was terribly disappointed by Gregg Allman's autobiography, but Poe's work is one of thorough knowledge and research on the matter.
Having just visited the "Big House" in Macon, Ga., I was happy to discover this biography of one of my musical hero's. Much better written than the average rock bio.
Mike Hood
Great story of one of my favorite rock guitarists. Poe captures the Bros. and really lays down the influence Duane had on developing a "new" rock genre.
Ak-75 Harris
Lots of details—the ones about Duane's early life and career are invaluable—but pretty short on insight into the personalities of everyone involved.
Jack Apfel
Because of Duane Allman's very short life most of this book is about the Allman Brothers Band. Which isn't to say it wasn't interesting.
As much a story of the Allman Brothers as Duane himself. Very interesting if you're a fan
should be required reading for ABB fans

will keep it always for reference
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